12 Jul 2021

12 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Enhancing the usability of weather radar data for the statistical analysis of extreme precipitation events

Andreas Hänsler and Markus Weiler Andreas Hänsler and Markus Weiler
  • Chair of Hydrology, University of Freiburg, 79098 Freiburg, Germany

Abstract. Spatially explicit quantification on design storms are essential for flood risk assessment and planning. Since the limited temporal data availability from weather radar data, design storms are usually estimated on the basis of rainfall records of a few precipitation stations having a substantially long time coverage. To achieve a regional picture these station based estimates are spatially interpolated, incorporating a large source of uncertainty due to the typical low station density, in particular for short event durations.

In this study we present a method to estimate spatially explicit design storms with a return period of up to 100 years on the basis of statistically extended weather radar precipitation estimates based on the ideas of regional frequency analyses and subsequent bias correction. Associated uncertainties are quantified using an ensemble-sampling approach and event-based bootstrapping.

With the resulting dataset, we compile spatially explicit design storms for various return periods and event durations for the federal state of Baden Württemberg, Germany. We compare our findings with two reference datasets based on interpolated station estimates. We find that the transition in the spatial patterns from short duration (15 minute) to long duration (2 days) events seems to be much more realistic in the weather radar based design storm product. However, the absolute magnitude of the design storms, although bias-corrected, is still generally lower in the weather radar product, which should be addressed in future studies in more detail.

Andreas Hänsler and Markus Weiler

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-366', Francesco Marra, 27 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-366', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Aug 2021

Andreas Hänsler and Markus Weiler

Andreas Hänsler and Markus Weiler


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Short summary
Spatially explicit quantification on design storms are essential for flood risk assessment. However this information can be only achieved from substantially long records of rainfall measurements, usually only available for a few stations. Hence, design storms estimates from these few stations are then spatially interpolated leading to a major source of uncertainty. Therefore we defined a methodology to extend spatially explicit weather radar data to be used for the estimation of design storms.